It was good to see in last week’s paper that so many children recently enjoyed the special ‘gifted and talented’ sporting day at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.
I’m not surprised the day was such a success and that, as a result, another similar day will take place very shortly.
Horsham District Council contributed the article reporting the event and the accompanying photo showed youngsters enjoying activities in the indoor training facility known as ‘The Tube’.
I found this somewhat ironic because, of course, the council has been keen to do away with the tube when work starts on building the new leisure centre early next year.
For some time now people who use the leisure centre – young and old alike – have been pleading with the council to retain the tube.
Jade Lally, who will be going to Rio to represent Great Britain in the discus at the Olympics and who helped run the children’s sporting day, has publicly said that loss of the tube will adversely affect her training.
All pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears (despite the fact that this decision would contravene central government’s National Planning Policy Framework which states firmly that in the event of redevelopment of sports and leisure facilities ‘equivalent or better’ facilities must be provided).
However, just recently there seemed to be a tiny gleam of light at the end of the tunnel when the council said it would look into retaining a part of the tube, although keeping the whole tube would still be out of the question.
At least, users thought, partial retention would provide some indoor athletics training provision for when bad weather means training outside is impossible.
Also it would help with scheduling certain activities such as archery and would ease pressure on the main sports hall at particularly busy times.
It would appear now, though, that the council’s idea for a ‘partial tube’ – if it were to be retained – would be to use it purely as a storage and toilet facility and not for what everyone knows it should be used for.
As Victor Meldrew would say, ‘I don’t believe it!’
Dorking Road, Warnham
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